16 Days Until Christmas!
Song: “Silver Bells,” by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell
Christmas Album: “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
Christmas DVD: “You’ve Got Mail”
Netflix Movie: “Coming Home for Christmas”
Amazon Prime Movie: “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas”
Feeln Movie: “Prancer”
• “Miracle on 34th Street,” 5:30 p.m., AMC
• “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” 6 p.m., ABC Family
• “Once Upon a Holiday,” 6 p.m., Hallmark
• “Will You Merry Me,” 6 p.m., Lifetime
• “The Polar Express, 6:30 p.m., ABC Family
• “Scrooged,” 8 p.m., AMC
• “Christmas at Cartwright’s,” 8 p.m., Hallmark
• “The Flight Before Christmas,” 8 p.m., Lifetime
• “Elf,” 8:45 p.m., ABC Family
• “Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays,” 9 p.m., FOX
Recipe: Chocolate-Chestnut Tortelli (Christmas Cookies)
Quick Thought for Christmas
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
A lot of words come to mind when we think about the Christmas season.
Love. Joy. Bells. Santa.
But maybe the best word that describes Christmas is “peace.” Think about it – at this time of year, in spite of the hustle and bustle of the season, people tend to have a little more goodwill in their hearts toward one another. They’re more gentle, more kind, more giving. Sure, you’ll encounter the stray jerk or two who will mow you over to get the last Lego set or Doc McStuffins doll. But if you watch closely, you’ll notice that people who might not otherwise notice you or talk to you will catch your eye and maybe even wish you a Merry Christmas.
The greatest example of this might be the Christmas Truce of 1914. As World War I raged in its first year, there was a desire among many that the fighting should at least stop to observe Christmas. A few weeks before Christmas, Pope Benedict XV sent a message to the warring nations, “that the guns may fall silent at least on the night the angels sang.” All of the powers ignored his plea.
But the soldiers didn’t.
Along the Western front, scores of German and British troops were locked in battle, deeply embedded in their respective trenches. But the violence of the battlefield could not stifle the German troops’ desire to celebrate Christmas to the best of their limited ability. They decorated their trenches with Christmas trees and candles, and their celebrations spilled over into the singing of traditional carols. The sound carried over a silent battlefield to the ears of British soldiers. They echoed the carols, singing the familiar tunes in English. Before long, they dared to cross “No Man’s Land” to greet each other, carrying gifts of whatever they had to spare.
For up to a week, soldiers along the Western Front didn’t fight. Instead they made friends with men who just a few days before had been considered enemies. Eventually, high commands on both sides ordered everyone back to their trenches, and the war ensued for another four years. But, as it has throughout history, the birth of Christ changed the course of history. Where there was war, Christmas brought peace. The hearts of men might cry out for war. But the heart of God, and the nature of Christ, will call for peace in the hearts of even those who crave war.
In the next few weeks, don’t let the clamor of the holidays overwhelm you. Reach out for Christ and claim his peace in your heart. After all, He is the “Prince of Peace,” and He desires for that to reside within each of us, not only at Christmastime, but throughout the year.
Reflection copyright © 2015 by Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.